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  1. #1
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    Default explorer officer issues

    For the year of 2005, I became the Captain of my explorer post. The majority of people did not have a problem with this because I was dedicated and I know my stuff well. However, there is a group of three snobby girls who constantly give me a hard time. The three girls never take the post seriously and demand they get what they want. One of these girls (by the way I am not trying to sound sexist, we have other girls in the dept. who are really nice and good at what we do) demands that she gets to sit in the front seat whenever we take the engine to fire training. Personally, I would rather no explorer sit in the front seat so we don't upset senior members, but when we do trainings I am the highest ranking explorer (the chief has another committment on meeting nights) and I would like a little respect. Now a lot of firefighters and advisors are giving them special treatment and not making them do any of the "not so fun stuff" to help out. This is crazy ! Not only this but the girls are not friendly and sometimes offend other explorers. I am sick of them delaying meetings with their joking around. I know they didn't want me to become captain (because they wanted to be captain and brag to all there friends...GOOD REASON!), but they need to change. Any suggestions ???


  2. #2
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    Since, an explorer post is part of the BSA. Were is the adult leadership at the meetings. If they are causing trouble and not taking things serious you need to have a word with them. You are the unit leader you need to take control of the unit. Thats why you are in the position you are. Now if you can not get them to stop and pull their weight I recommend that you speak to your adult leadership of the post. And set up a meeting between the girls, you and the leadership. A good thing to do when you have the meeting will be to include their parents.

    Now as a person that once ran two Scout troops as a SPL, Asst. Scout Master and Council Camp Waorker I will say you have to push your control. People in this life will push you to see how far they can go. The first thing to do is keep control of your temper and feelings. Were they like this when the old captain ran the post or has just been since you took over. If so they are testing you and seeing how far they can go. Just like the LT that got onto you. You might have seen it as a negative thing, but maybe he is just tring to see how far one can push you. Being the leader is not easy you pretty much have to make desicions o facts and not friendship.

    Another thing you have to remember is this. Specially as a volunteer style organiztion. You will have people that will try to little as possible. In regards to the riding in the front seat that is a department thing you need to work out. When I was a JR you could only ride in the front becuase the Senior members needed to pack up in the jump seats.

    Good Luck.. If you have more questions ask.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

  3. #3
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    Mac had a good point on being pushed. The last time I got pushed really hard when it wasn't appropriate - and I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the push was not appropriate - I held my ground. It has been a while, but I was only in my first year in the dept and I was up against a "tenured" officer with 15+ years at his post.

    I held my ground tenaciously - but RESPECTFULLY and PROFESSIONALLY.

    Those are the three ingredients:

    (1) You KNOW and I mean REALLY KNOW you're right.
    (2) You maintain your calm and professionalism
    (3) You maintain proper protocol and respect

    I tell you what, the whole culture of the department changed after that, from the top down. It made a hell of a ripple that lasted a good long time, too. I can't take credit for the changes, as other things were brewing long before I got there, but my incident sure played a part.

    Don't let yourself be pushed when it is not appropriate, or you will be owned in a way that is good for no one.

    Hang in there.

  4. #4
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    RLFD,

    Your right, what I was wanting to add to that but forgot. Was the LT might have done that to see his reaction and prepare him for things like that in the future. maybe he knows the problems he is testing him but also teaching him in a non direct way. From my many years of the fire service and oither things in life. The one person I though hated me the most was realy, just tring to help me build tough skin.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

  5. #5
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    I have a question for the both of you and anyone else. What about re-election ? I know its a good time away, but being an officer is important to me. Do you think its possible to get their support as well as remain professional and respectful. I mean these girls wont have any respect for that and for a lot of younger people, they just want their friends in a position of power. I am not trying to sound so political. Should I just try to be a goog leader and hope for the best ? Once again, not trying to sound so political or power hungry, I just would like your point of view.

  6. #6
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    Regarding re-election...my first reaction is to suggest you take the academy approach to that. Keep to your own business and uphold your responsibilities.

    If they want someone else in "power" (no one should ever want to be an officer for the "power"), and if said person who gets in power is not as capable, others will see that.

    Generally in cases like this - just like in the academy - let things go the way they are going and the authorities above will soon be able to discern the jokers and fools from the serious people. Getting respect from the regular crew (and thus their help in training and career preparation) is more important in the long run than being an officer right now. This is of course assuming the authorities are tuned in to what is going on and take the post seriously.

    Just my first thoughts early in the morning, I hope others chime in with their ideas....

  7. #7
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    Ok I have basicly a similar problem and have recently solved it with some methods. I am the 1st lt of my post and we had a similar problem. Through my Corps since we are cadets but we have a captain, two lieutenants and a advisor. Well through time me and the advisor became known as the "bad cops" and the other lieutenant and captain became the "good cops". Well what happened was these three girls were the same way. They constantly were talking, not behaving, not listening and causing a lot of problems. So what we ended up doing was two thigns. We got to the point where we actually told them a few things. The first time we told them all to go sit on the side and watch. Well after a few times they started to behave a little more but still acted up. We actually sent them home once and ever since havent had any problems. We now have read our bylaws to the whole group again to remind them of the rules and told them that if we have to people will sit out and watch or be told not to come for a week or sent home if they dont pay attention and dont participate at all. We want the people who want to participate to be there and thats it. We want a person who wants to learn and participate instead of wasting time and resources on the person who doesnt. If you have to use your actual power and discipline a little if necessary.
    Mike
    Levittown, NY
    Cadet Corps Member
    1st Lieutenant

  8. #8
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    You are hitting it right. But you got to not worry about is your going to be re-elected. You need to do you job, put them inline with the help of the advisor and go on. DOn't get cuaght up in their game of whos going to pee on who's corn flakes tonight. Maybe update the By-laws to state warnings. First warning from advisor, second warning you are off for a month, third you are done. Are their parents on the department, just wondering.

    Another thing I thought off right before I ended this post. YOu got to look at like this too. Explorer posts are there for teens to do soemthing with their life. But also to have fun, and in a sense it isn't a serious thing. Example would be as JR I was focused on this how we need to do it. So and SO department does it like this. Unlike the others I wanted to fight fires of school. So when times came to do things I always took it serious compared to some others.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

  9. #9
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    These guys are right don't worry about re-election you just do your job. Since your the Captain you need to make sure your crew takes you serious.If you tell them to stop messing around and they don't and if they are a distraction to you and the rest of your crew you need give some discipline to those girls. I know its hard to give discipline to your friends and your peers but if it needs to be give give it. Hope this gives you a little more advice. If you need more help you can e- mail me at taitaiwantai_4@yahoo.com

    Richard Lopez Jr.
    Explorer Captain E-1
    SRFD

    "Ever Ready, Ever Willing"

    " 2 In, 2 Out"

  10. #10
    Forum Member FiftyOnePride's Avatar
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    To basically state what everyone has said:

    Do your job, get an advisors help on the issue. There are limitations to how much horseplay can occur in a FD, and if this happens to cross your percieved line of appropriateness: then action should be taken.

    What that action is and who should decide it depends on the FD. Mine would be a combination of the Advisors and the Chief, sometimes the Captain would participate if need be.
    JLS
    MFC
    51 Pride - R.I.P. Sandy
    Alarm 200644004, I won't ever forget.


    Remember you only have 1*.

    IACOJ

  11. #11
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    I spent 4 years as the advisor of the Post here, and had a Captain and 2 Lieutenants supervising the activities. I maintained a 'hands off' approach until it became apparent that the specific situation needed adult intervention. This seemed to work well, and built the confidence level in the line officers and President of the Post, as they knew I wouldn't immediately jump in at the first sniff of trouble. I would give advice when asked. I held regular meetings with the officers to go over items, such as training and concerns. As I have said before, the reason for the program is to develop the cadets into firefighters and future department officers. It requires a lot of communication, and being the Advisor is more than just signing the BSA charter once a year. It is a big committment, and one that shouldn't be made lightly.

  12. #12
    Forum Member ENG4RillA's Avatar
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    Well I am the Captain of my juniors program too... I have been capt. since June 2004 and this coming June I will hand my helmet in and pass the seat of Capt to the next elected offical. It is time for me to graduate and become a senior member. Any how in myprogram we have simialr problems too. We have a coulpe of girls who just sit on the side and do absolutly nothing when it comes time to the pratical stuff like the basics like hydrants and ladders they always pull the I do not feel well and I am going to sit out. It finally got to the point where if you do not feel good then you cannot stay. If you would like to stay then you must watch a distance away and pay attention to the officers and the advisors giving the lesson. Then it got to the point we moved on from the basics and we were setting up live burns and live serniros. Then they wanted to particapate. Then we mention at our next business meeting that you must take part in the basic courses and must take part in the classes leading up to the burn time so that we know that you can do what is asked of you. If you are not there for the training and there is not a good reason then you must sit out of the "FUN" burn drills. Sometimes it still goes on and other times we are all working togehter. It is never fun when you are the First Lt and you have to fill two jobs because the pervious Captain never did his job. However it must end soon and I will be happy to join my senior brotehrs fight fires. Until next time
    Eng # To firecom I have a 1 story wood frame structure with a man on the roof putting the fire out...

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